Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Many of my friends, semi friends, semi-foes  and foes called me up, sent mails, passed message through intermediary  with prayers, requests, warnings, and threats with dire consequences etc to refrain from preambles and get down to to business with ingredients, process, thanks etc, They are not at all interested in what happened between "SOMEONE" and me, if I was loitering in the park in the name  of brisk walking, what was the dialogue between me and the Tigress prawn etc..etc.
I am in a great dilema, because non of my 38 blog followers , has said any thing like this. There may be two reasons, either they enjoy the introduction ( there are confirmed people who do enjoy) or they are too modest to say " dont write all these craps and get down to business of cooking".
Anyway , whatever I write in introduction, comes automatically. So dear Foody friends, please let me know if I should continue with some spontaneous introduction or straight get down to the business of cooking . Of course I write the blog in such a way that you can always start from Recipe or Ingredients para and ignore the bla, bla at the beginning.
It is a very common and traditional Bengali recipe with pumpkin. It has undergone some fusion over the years, so I have put a suffix  FUSED. The fusion is nothing but adding a bit of grated coconut taken from another famous Bengali dish called " Narkel Kumri" ( Coconut and Pumpkin). It is traditionally a vege dish without Onion and garlic.
Here I am giving 2 versions, with and without onion. The basic aroma comes from Panch PhoDon seasoning ( bengali ) cumin and a over doze of ginger for the temple / Jain version; and for the other fried onion smell will add on.
Pumpkin 250 gms cut to 11/2 inch pcs ( approx)
 Potato 200 gms cut to 1 inch ( I haven't used here and you may skip too, but it is used.)
 whole black gram 3 tbsp ( 1/2  fistful approx, ( ladies fist size, not mine :-)
grated coconut 1 heap tbsp (or more, I hate to grate coconut as I am scared of grating my palm ) 
 Ginger 1 heap tbsp, chopped fine
Cumin powder 1 tsp , soaked in water.
Sugar 1 tsp or more. This dish has a sweet note. The Pumpkin itself is  sweet so sugar has to be adjusted. 1 level tsp will be added always.
 Red chili powder 1/2 tsp ( more the merrier)
Turmeric 3/4th tsp
Mustard oil 1 tbsp ( or white oil or ghee) for cooking 
For seasoning 

Panch phodon 1 tsp ( Methi, Fennel, cumin, Kala jeera, Mustard (1st 3 are mandatory) mixed , equal proportion).
 Bay leaf 1
 Dry red chili 2

Roasted cumin powder 1 tsp heap ( if you are roasting fresh batch please add 2 red chili, roast and grind)
1 tsp Ghee for garnishing 
For the onion version.
onion medium 1 finely chopped.
for the seasoning 
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp fennel ( level)
 cardamom 2
clove 2
cinamon 3/4th inch 
red chili dry 1

Soak the black gram in water for 2-4 hrs.
In a Kadhai, heat oil and give seasoning of bay leaf, Panch Phodon, red chili  
add potato  and black gram soute under low flame for 5 minutes. ( sprinkle water if needed)
Add cumin powder-paste and fry for a minute or two
Add Pumpkin , ginger, red chili powder, Turmeric, salt and mix.  Continue frying for 3-4 minutes.
Cover and allow pumpkin to release water. Add grated coconut .
Add water just to ensure that the potato will be cooked and little water will be left at the end. (Add water and boil if potato or pumpkin is not done.) It will have some gravy and pumpkin will be too soft and falling apart type.
Add 1 tsp or more sugar ( it will have a sweet note) , adjust salt.
Add ghee and roasted jeera powder, mix and cover.
Onion version
It will be essentially same 
Add onion after seasoning ( sea above) and fry to light brown then add the black gram and Potato, soute under low flame. Then proceed as above,  

Normally eat with Puri or Luchi also roti and rice.
Happy eating 

Here is a Himalayan wild flower for the great Chefs


sayantani said...

Ushnishda, please dont change the style of your writing and the posts. we love the way you put the introduction and your sense of humour.
Kumro chakka amar bhishon favourite amio narkel di tabe kuchono. apnartao darun dekhte.

Sanjana said...

I love this recipe Ushnish- Pumpkin is one of my firm favourites. I think you should definately carry on writing introductions. It is a wonderfull way to stamp your own mark upon a recipe you have created. It also gives you the chance to talk about ingredients (which are, of course the foundations upon which cooking is built). So keep up the introduction-writing! I love to hear about where recipes come from!

Latha said...

Very new to me...lovely color and looks yummm.

SE(Denufood) said...

Ushnish da...very wonderful recipe..its so similar to the maharashtrian version with no onion and garlic but use of traditional goda masala

SE(Denufood) said...

oh yes...and do keep and start the recipe with intro...love to read those..

Gulmohar said...

Ushnish Da, I thoroughly enjoy reading your intro and as you said,those who doesn't want to read that, could scroll down at any time :-)
We have a pumpkin coconut version in Kerala. but the ingredients are different and it is more watery..I have it already in my drafts(but is with papaya instead of pumpkin) and will be posting it soon..Your version looks awesome. And love the flower click :-)

Preeti Kashyap said...

I have had this before and it does have a sweet note as you said. :)

Malar Gandhi said...

Dear Ushnish,

that post abt 'mouse, microwave' is written by a fellow blogger:( I thought...you are the only person who reads my blog:( I don't drink vodka.:(

kothiyavunu said...

Hello Ushnish,
Wonderful new pumpkin recipe to me..Looks and sounds great & delicious.Never tried bengali recipes
Will def give it a shot, one of these days.Thanks for sharing.

Malar Gandhi said...

Please do write the preamble...I like it. I like ur sense of humour.

Yeah...tho' we have plenty of followers, only very few read the intro'.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sayantani
Thank you so much! I will be waiting for your Kumro chhakka recipe. In fact I just went through your blog ( 12 bengali dish tag) to see if you have already posted it.
Have a nice day
ushnish da

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sanjana
I feel good reading your encouraging comments. Please try this dish as I often post recipes keeping in mind my vege friends . Even you will see, most of my Non-vege posting have a vege option wherever possible..
Have a nice day

Ushnish Ghosh said...

@ dear latha
Thank you so much
@ Dear SE
I like the Maharashtrian version. We have a Maharastrian in our family and a wizard in cooking. So I get lot of Maha dishes. ;-)
@ Dear Preeti
Thank you and it was for you, Pari, Sanjana and all my Vege friends

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Gulmohar
Thanks for the encouragement!!
I often used to eat that Keralite version. While in Kuwait, I had a Malabar eating joint at the ground floor of my building and used to devour all kind of extra chili hot Keralite dishes..:-)
Please post it quickly

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Malar
Thank you so much for your encouraging comments.
Regarding the mouse post, I am wondering, how I missed the blogger's name...Please remove the comment.
But while reading , I was laughing thinking you had pulled a fast one on Vodka drinking to dramatize and for fun( like I did on my Rum stop blog under Himalayas). I had no reasons to believe the Vodka drinking :-)
I do read every word of your blog..it is very informative and interesting reading too.
Have a nice evening, while I am going to your kitchen to enjoy the Gujarati Kitchiri, which arrived just now :-)

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sangeetha
Thanks, and do try. But it will have a sweet note coming from the pumpkin and slightly enhanced with a little sugar.
While buying Pumpkin, see if it has a greenish band between the yellow-red fleshy part and the skin. These are supposed to be tasty ones

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Ushnish - the preambles are fun... Infact thats what I am going to do now on the posts I have missed since I was out...
I make pumpkin and potatoes with garlic, have to try this version...

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Somoo
Wao , you are back? I was really missing you. I am sure you had enjoyed the trip with lot of fun.
Hummm as soon as you settle down , pull out the list of recipes i wanted to learn. (Dont worry , I will refresh the list)
Kakharu, Rasuna recipe ta post kariba
Bhala Rahiba

Sarah Naveen said...

Do write the intro...Love reading it
This curry is new to me and looks delicious.

Indrani said...

Dear Ushnishda,
You pl. continue with your introduction, I thoroughly love it...whoever dosn´t want to read, they can scroll down to recipe anytime..Komror chakka darun hoyeche dekhte...love the idea of adding coconut..I´m also thinking of making it soon

sangeeta said...

i have never had this kumro chakka and want to try this right now, kumra being such a fave of mine...n i am going to follow the recipe to the T.
who is that person ( semi foe or otherwise ) who says you should not write the preamble...just tell me...

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Indrani
Please try. Chhele byalae Pujo-r char din roj sakal-e Kumro tarkari ar luchi khaoa hoto..Tai sedin hatat rendhe felam. Of course had to contact Didi, who knows the small prints of all dishes.
Bhalo theko

PJ said...

Pumpkin curry looks delicious! I have never had a similar curry but its something I look forward to making soon while the pumpkin season lasts! and yes, like many people before me have said, please do continue adding the introductions.. sometimes introductions are what makes the recipes click :) besides thats the two paragraphs we get to express ourselves, aren't they? :)

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sangeeta
Try it out. Buy a sweet variety. The one I used was not very good for this purpose.
Ha ha The semi foes or foes are also friends, and semi cook to cook,,,they just dont want to wait, and get into kitchen as fast as possible.
Have a nice time

Pari said...

Hi. Please do write the preamble, as I feel every one has his own views about the dish he makes and the spices used. And it's fun reading a post written with light humour in it, and it's not easy to make fun of oneself. So I truly admire that.
I have made pumpkin and black gram together but never tried the panch phoron and coconut combo with that.
Sounds good.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear PJ
Very well said , the last line. Please try this dish, very simple traditional bengali dish, a common man's dish you can say.
You must be getting many varieties, Try to get a slight sweet variety onem that we get mostly in India.
Have a nice day

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear pari
Many thanks for your nice comment.
Being a great cook yourself, you know how the flavor varies with slight change in spicing and seasoning. On top of that it vege cooking is a tough job. This will have a strong note of ginger and cumin. Be generous on adding ginger, you can try bit of paste and rest chpped ones.
Happy cooking

Muraligeetham said...

wow!! pumpkin and potato...I've never tried this combo..looks tasty and will try this ....

Muraligeetham said...

Hello ushnish..keep wrting introduction as it makes your page lively ...interesting to read as well...

Sreelekha Sumesh said...

Another great Bangali dish :)Seems like our Erisseri(Kerla version of pumpkin curry).Looks colorful and yummy.Perfect with white rice.Thanks for the Lovely flower.
Happy cooking!

My Experiments with Food said...

What's a recipe without a good story behind it?
And for those who wish to skip the preamble, there is always the "scroll" option.
As is evident from the many bloggers who have commented before me, we love the way you write. :)

Siddhi Shirsat said...

Hey Ushnish...you do not change ur writing style of posts...its nice to read the intro and sme little incident in it...i like to read it.

This pumpkin dish luks yummy, its new to me.We make a bit diff style subzi.I liked this version, i vl try it.

Viki's Kitchen said...

Hi Ushnish,
Pumkin dish seems a very new recipe to me. I just make a poriyal (fry) with that. But I am sure yours would have tasted great with poori.
Regarding the anecdote part....I love to write and read interesting preambles. You know what...you have a great skill to write more than interesting....they are so witty and makes a nice start. I think , we need not restrict ourselves with cooking alone. I do write the stories behind and eager to read likewise. So pls carry on your nice articles. Btw, The wild flower of Himalayas looks so pleasant and cute. I always wonder how God painted them with these great colors...

Dolly said...

Love Ur Pumpkin recipe. Also love reading your intro's. Keep writing them. I really have to go now My 2 yr old will not let me write any more.

Gouri Guha said...

Ushnish, this recipe is no doubt a tasty one. As a child I loved the kalo chola and would pick them up to put it into my mouth. My Ma made a very tasty dish of this combo and I'm way behind her.
Reading this recipe I'm now in a mood to cook it some day, but will do it without coconut (I don't like narkel kora in curries).
And thanks of course for sharing this recipe (a sort of a reminder to cook it) and your nice style of writing.

...and keep smiling...

Ushnish Ghosh said...

@Dear Sangeetha ( at Muraligeetham)
Thank you

@Dear Sreelekha
I am going to make Erisseri, I have got the recipe now, in the mean time you cook this bong dish :-)

@ dear MEF
Thank you so much

@ dear Siddhi
Actually there are many ways of cooking this one in Bong style. This is the most common one
Happy cooking

Akal's Saappadu said...

Dear Ushnish,

thank you, thank you, for the kind appreciations about fish handling etc... it's such a pleasure to be recognized and appreciated from a chef like you....

you enjoy fresh octopus too? my husband and my son are one of those kinds too, they like all sushi and sashimi verieties... they enjoy Japanese food like I enjoy briyani or whatever... whenever I buy salmon or any other fresh fish, they save some fresh for them.... it facilitates my life too, no frying, no cooking & no mixing... :)

Please don't change anything at all in your introduction; As I've always said, I enjoy reading your anecdotes and the way you transit to the recipe and even the tips in between like you clarify here about the fist size :):) you know what, everybody can blog, but not all are good writers! you do it so well, so happy cooking but please continue with your anecdotes too!!!

Let me come back to your pumkin now; I'm discovering another new recipe , totally new method here; it sounds so traditional and authentically Bengali. I love the addition of sugar in this curry, I'll prefer to add the onions too, I'm sure it must have tasted divine!! bookmarking to try some time :) have a nice week-end!!!

prasu said...

Hi Ushnish......I'm little late to the pumpkin post here......totally surprise to see what u have written.... I myself enjoy the introduction part of of ur post.....honestly waiting to read ur write ups.....My 8yr.old(who is an apple to our eyes) who's a great chef for her age(who makes chai for pappa and do her sandwith herself) read ur shrimp post, BECAME A BIG FAN OF UR BLOG and from then, she asks me weather have u come up with new post... ....don't hesitate, continue to write ur lovely writings...we all r here not only to share recipes but also Hi and Hellos........DID YOU GET IT....hey btw nice pumpkin curry...I never cooked or ate pumpkin till date....

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Viki
Thank you for your encouraging note. I agree with you. I always love to read cooking blogs with some stories, some humor,some scientific inputs, otherwise it will be like reading recipe books.
So whats cooking in weekend :-)
Best wishes

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Dolly.
I feel good that you could still take out time to put few lines here. I know how demanding is the task of bringing of children. Please always take your time and when you are free and relaxed, then only put few lines here.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Gouri
Thank you so much! As mentioned in my blog, coconut is not a part of dish traditionally. So you can drop it, no problem.
Best wishes

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Akal
Thank you so much.
Ya I have read in your blog how much your dear Hubby and son love Japanese food. In Korea we used to take live octopus (tiny ones) they try to hook their arms on the tongue, quite tickling.
Koreans eat fresh raw fish, cut into thin slices. Your son will be thrilled to know, that in a Korean restaurant you select a fish from the Aquarium, they will make it for you !!!
I like that salmon affair :-)
Try this dish some times, it is not a great dish but quite traditional.
Hvae nice Pre-weekend :-)

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Prasu
Thank you so much, I feel good, specially when it is coming from you, my oldest blog follower :-)
I am so thrilled to hear about your daughter. I must write some separate stories for her. So she is into the kitchen!! Please keep encouraging her, because cooking is the most relaxing hobby even during high pressure school days. I am sure one day the little angel will bit her great Mom in cooking. ( and what can be a happier moment for you than this.
Happy cooking and Ullash!!

Spice said...

Love that pumpkin, I make similar kind learned from my MIL except few changes....btw thanks for stopping by & leaving your comments at my blog....

Dolly said...

Ok I'm back again. I was feeling so guilty of not being able to really write what I wanted to. Thanks for understanding. My 2 yr old is a demanding little buddy. 6 yr old is easy to manage. He's my baking buddy and seems to be interested in cooking. ok now onto your Pumpkin recipe. This preparation with coconut is very new to me. Also I see that you did not use any tomatoes. Will give this recipe a try although I'm not big on coconut except in chutney, desserts and also fish curry. Apart from that do not use much coconut. I see lot of good recipes with coconut..I guess I can start acquiring the taste gradually.

Also continue with your introductions. Its fun to read. BTW just completed my biggest project ever. My very first Gingerbread House right from scratch. Will hopefully post it tonight. Still have to get some good pictures b4 my little one starts eating away all the decorated candy from the Gingerbread HOuse.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Dolly
I will be eagerly waiting to see the gingerbread House. Dont worry, if the little one eats away some decoration, give a big laugh and make again. Because it is baby's privilege to eat them, and it is Mom's privilege to remake them :-)

Coconut use is quite region specific.I think it is highest in Kerala cuisines and then other south Indian states. It is never used in any Kashmiri dishes and quite insignificant in all northern and eastern states. I think it is related to coconut production in a particular region. Coconut is widely used in Hindu rituals.
In Bengal also, Coconut is used in very few dishes.
In fact coconut is not used in this dish traditionally and I have used it as a variation. So please don't put it. Tomato is not used here. Again if you want you can use. It will be quite tasty. There is another variation of this, where a sour note is added through tomato or tamarind and sweet note is enhanced with more sugar ( typical sweet and sour note). In this case, garam Masala seasoning is not at all recommended.
Give a try, it is not a great dish anyway, so if you dont make it , you really dont miss anything, Ha ha
Have good day and a nice weekend ahead

Kanchan said...

I personally prefer blogs with some intro to the recipe and hence If I do not have preamble I do not post the recipe !

this is what I feel but it all depends person to person, but if someone do not care about the intro can always skip it !

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Kanchan
You are right. Reading a food Blog should be different from reading a cook book.
I always write thinking I am talking to some one ( Including Prawns:-). I find reading your blog very interesting and I look forward to it.
Have a nice week ahead

Siddhi Shirsat said...

hey nice 2 hear tht my prof pic resembles lik ur elder daughter pic...poor cockoroaches, they were thrown out of their houze:-)

Anonymous said...

Hello,nice post thanks for sharing?. I just joined and I am going to catch up by reading for a while. I hope I can join in soon.

Purabi Naha said...

Wow, this authentic Bengali dish is my all-time favourite, Looks like you love travelling!! Loved your recipe collection! U know, there is no Bangladeshi market in Hong Kong. I wanted some "kola pata" for one of my recipes, but now I dropped the idea.

Nayna Kanabar said...

I love pumpkin and this curry looks awesome. Visiting your blog after some time and realised what I was missing.Love the anecdotes that go with the posts. Do drop by simply.food some time time permitting.

Sangeeta Nandy said...

Hello Ushnish,

I am reading this recipe today(6 years after your post) and I am gonna prepare this for my husband as dinner, who is very foodie :)

This is such a kind of recipe which will never be obsolete.

I stay with my husband in Delhi, away from home, so each time instead of calling mom to ask the authentic bengali recipe I would like to follow your post.

Could you please tell me what will be the best accompaniment with is recipe? What shall I serve with this?
Thank you so much.